Despite being an uncharacteristic late bloomer of the men's tennis, Stan Wawrinka, aged 32, has managed to pull up to the surface some extraordinary achievements, basically being the one that was able to break the chains of the Big Four's domination. Moreover, as a Switzerland representative, he was forced to create his path which is a titanic task given the fact that he had to live in Roger Federer's shadow for so long.

As his game accumulated a certain amount of maturity and consistency, he made the big step in challenging the establishment once he brought Magnus Norman in as the main coach, the decision that dramatically changed his career as he is now a three-time Grand Slam champion- the same as Andy Murray.

'Stan the Man' losing a great opportunity in 2017

One by one, some of the usual suspects when it comes to winning Majors went aside due to various reasons. It should have been a great chance for Wawrinka to dig deeper in Majors. He did well reaching the semis of the Australian Open back in January only to lose to Federer in five sets. Moving forward, he reached the final in Indian Wells where an inspired Federer outplayed him in straight sets.

The clay-court swing found Wawrinka unable to deal with the pressure. Som early exits in Madrid, Rome and Monte Carlo prevented him from taking a full swing entering the 2017 French Open. Deciding to compete in his home country at Geneva Open ( ATP 250) was a smart choice.

Winning the title meant more than s crown, it was the proper warm-up he had been craving for.

Roland Garros saw Wawrinka gathering momentum under his belt as he went on another impossible mission. Getting past Andy Murray in the semis ensured him a spot in the last act, two years after his groundbreaking success in France's capital.

This time, he had to bow down to an invincible Rafael Nadal. It was the fourth Major final he has reached and the first one he went on losing it. The grass season had no luster at all, and it was pretty clear that his issues have a physical component within.

Choosing longevity over short-term strategy

Deciding to skip the 2017 US Open was a drastic decision that had to be made.

At 32 years of age, Wawrinka needs to focus most of his efforts to keep his body safe and sound. It's the same strategy that all the top players had to embrace in the recent months.

Currently ranked eighth in the world, he is likely to drop even lower. And that will make all his future efforts at least twice harder. But, as he did in the past, Wawrinka can produce such a high-quality tennis that enables him to obliterate all kinds of opponents.